A campaign to get us talking more and differently to babies and young children

What is Talking Matters?

Talking Matters is a campaign to put early talk at the top of the agenda for child wellbeing and education.

At present, most early language initiatives focus on ages 3-5 and on school readiness and reading.  Early, responsive talk for ages 0-3 is the missing piece in early childhood education. 

We want to change that at all levels - for government and policy, for service providers, and for parents and families. 

Why Talking Matters

Talking is particularly important in the first 1000 days when children's brains are forming. 

It's the back and forth, responsive communication that sets them up for success in education and in life.

Talk is important in whatever languages families use – it doesn’t have to be in English. 

The Talking Matters challenge

Early language is an equity issue.

Some children are starting at school with language and communication skills more typical of three-year-olds. 

Early language is a key contributor to the achievement gap between poorer and more affluent families.  

Van Hees, J. (2011). "The expressive realities of five-and six-year old students in Year 1 and 2 classes in low-socio-economic schools." SET 43: 47-54

Van Hees, J. (2011). "The expressive realities of five-and six-year old students in Year 1 and 2 classes in low-socio-economic schools." SET 43: 47-54

Everyone can be a part of Talking Matters

How would you like to make sure Talking Matters? Join us: 

  • Advocating for changes to policy, laws and funding  
  • Supporting parent-led community action  
  • Developing and sharing tools, resources and strategies  
  • Building capability in education, health and family services

Read more

Submission on early learning

Our Talking Matters submission on the Early Learning Strategic Plan draws on contributions from 28 Talking Matters Network members at our February meeting. 

Find out more

Blog: Explore New Territories

Talking Matters director Alison Sutton joined 3,400 practitioners, researchers and policy makers at the Zero To Three Conference in Denver. "It was incredibly stimulating.Talking Matters will be drawing on the insights for months to come." 

News: Why Talking Matters in the First 1000 Days

Talking Matters director Alison Sutton presented at the NEXT Foundation annual breakfast in Wellington, calling for early talk to be top of the government's child wellbeing agenda. Find out more and watch the impact videos

 

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